Leaving Tuefhar’s temple, newly aquired magical equipment in tow, the group carries on to the safehouse to meet with Helmut. Carefully uttering the pass-phrase – “the sun is shining”, “but the ice is still slippery” – the group is escorted to the underground hideout of the leaders of the resistance.
Pleased to learn that the group will be attacking Shroder, Helmut describes his plan: the group is presented to Shroder in fake cages (with false bottoms to store their weapons). The locks on the cages are magically linked, and once Hope manages to open hers that should open the rest. No one in the group, least of all Ailith or Mara, seems happy with the idea of entering Shroder’s presence unarmed, in cages. The group offers their own plan.
They will gain entry to Shroder’s manor on their own (through means unspecified), and ask for an audience with the Lord. Once Helmut’s inside-man sees the group enter Shroder’s audience chamber, he can alert the human fighters and have them attack the rest of the guards. Helmut eventually agrees to this, and also informs the group that the door to the audience chambers will be locked behind them, to make sure Shroder doesn’t escape to rally his guards. They will have to find their own way out. It is decided that the attack will happen the following day, in the early evening, and everyone will meet the next morning at the safehouse to get Shard’s location from Helmut.
As the group leaves, Dawnis lingers behind to speak to Helmut briefly. He learns that, while Helmut does claim to have known his father, he didn’t know him well. Dawnis should speak to Carl B(somethingorother), who was trained by Dawnis’ father in the arcane arts. Helmut assures Dawnis that Carl will be present following the attack on Shroder, and they can discuss matters then.
The following day, the group scatters to perform their various activities. Mara goes to the local shrine to the Raven Queen, much to the delight of the local clergy. Ailith goes to the local chapter house of Kord’s paladins, and relaxes by wiping the floor with an acolyte or two. Echos takes the opportunity to eat and drink, to build up his courage for the coming battle. Hope and Dawnis prowl the markets in search of useful items, and manage to purchase another healing potion.
Eventually, night starts to fall. The group meets up, and carries on to Shroder’s manor – a few of them slightly distressed to find Echos apparently drunk. Reaching the castle, they are permitted entry without trouble, and greeted once again by the major domo. They are escorted to the audience chambers once again, and left on their own for a brief period. Hope and Echos attempt to disarm the the armoured warriors, and Hope tries to see if she can get through the door to Shroder’s private chambers. Foiled at both these tasks, the group scatters when Shroder enters the room.
Lord Echos, ever the diplomat, apologetically informs Shroder that the group has decided to kill him. Although, if it’s any consolation, they’ll likely be killing the captain of the guard as well. Apparently not reassured by this, Shroder attacks.